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Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

In recent years, digital marketing has become the marketing approach for many businesses, now far eclipsing traditional marketing tools for modern businesses.

The reasons for this are fairly obvious, in terms of being far cheaper, more immediate in terms of results, and offering the marketing manager easy access to the many programs, apps, API’s and social channels now available.

But does this mean that traditional marketing has no home in the modern marketing promotional mix, or is there still a place for communicating via traditional marketing channels?

In my opinion, as a marketing professional with a 25 year track record in marketing, I believe the best marketing campaigns are those that can blend the two approaches together.

Many top brands do this successfully, Google included, where although there is a major push on digital channels, traditional posted campaigns are also heavily used to attract new clients and agencies to adopt their many digital options.

In digital marketing vs traditional marketing, there is only going to be one winner, that being digital, which is set to consolidate and expand even further in years to come with the advent of AI and VR which will open up many other opportunities for marketers.

What are the traditional marketing tools that are still widely used today and successfully blended with digital marketing approaches.

Telemarketing is still alive and well, although its use as a marketing tool has been recently clipped slightly by GDPR, it is still a mainstay for many companies, even those with a predominantly digital offer.

Companies like SKY, BT and Virgin all use telemarketing, both outbound and inbound, so it continues to be popular as a method.

Posted direct mail and leaflet distribution is still favoured by many businesses, however it has become prohibitive for many businesses due to postal costs which mean it now tends to be a more niche activity, certainly for B2B brands.

That said, many companies still find a home for posted direct mail and tend to get get far higher open rates and response from this traditional marketing tool, which can sometimes offset the postage costs.

Print advertising continues to be popular, but has declined greatly compared to digital advertising spend. This is evident for most with the much slimmed down size of the Yellow Pages, compared to only a few years ago.

Exhibitions and networking remain a strong marketing approach for many businesses and networking particularly, has seen a renaissance in recent years as people are going back to wanting a more face-to-face experience.

So although digital wins on just about every level against traditional marketing, it is likely that the traditional methods will remain in place to complement the digital approaches. Most marketing budgets will have an allowance therefore, for a certain amount of traditional marketing activity.

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